Wednesday, July 04, 2012

My grandpa

My mom's dad passed away June 19.  It was about 5 weeks before that I first heard from her about his cancer.  I was upset that I hadn't been told earlier, but she told me that she had only just found out herself.  I saw him that Saturday, May 19, and then three more times, the last being the day before he died.  I was the last of my generation to see him alive.  As I'm the oldest of my generation, I was also the first to see him, so it's sort of appropriate.

He was a good man.  I cannot say he was a "great" man, as he was humble in the scope of his life, but he set a benchmark all of our family can judge ourselves by.  To think "Would this make him proud?" if we wonder if something is right, or to picture that look of disappointment to know something's wrong.  He was a US Marine in WWII, and I believe he'll be getting a 21 gun salute at his funeral.  (Cremated, understand.)

I regret not having gotten to know him better.  I think he understood, though, that a lot of my time was spent working and taking care of my kids, and that he felt that was as it should be.  I'm very glad that I took my kids to see him before he deteriorated completely.  It made him very happy to see them, and I know that they will keep that memory their whole lives.

So, Grandpa, rest well.  You've earned it.

Friday, February 17, 2012


Testing the Blogger app on my phone.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Just spent some time re-reading old posts here.  So strange that my life has changed wildly over the last few years, but internally I'm really not all that different.  You'd think I would learn something, or not have the same recurring problems year after year, but apparently you'd be wrong about that.

Thursday, October 13, 2011


So this "Occupy Wall Street" thing has been going on for close to a month now, and has spread to other cities, including my own.  It's a curious thing, and I am watching it with interest.

I'm feeling rather lethargic lately, but that seems to be a long term problem of mine.  A theme running through my life.  Undirected, unfocused.  Disappointed, even.

Yeah, that's a good word for what I feel a lot - disappointment.  In myself, a lot of the time, but also in other people.  We should all be better than we are.  I believe we can be, but for whatever reason, we fall short.

Friday, March 11, 2011

What is this place

What has this place become?  The naked, unabashed, unapologetic power grab going on at the state level in the US is terrifying.  The open torture of one of our own soldiers, with no end in sight.  The absolute acceptance that corporations can do no wrong, and that workers are the enemy.

How is this America?

There's no "hope" here.  There's no striving for a better tomorrow.  There is no equality, or fairness, or even virtue in this.  This is the strong crushing the weak, the rich dominating the poor, the few enslaving the many.

Why is the government not putting work programs into place?  Why do banks get giant bailouts, only to see executives get massive bonuses?  Why are chain of ownership laws in real estate being blatantly ignored?  Why do giant companies pay less in taxes than I do?

There's no attempt to build a brighter future going on.  Only "shared sacrifice" - where "shared" means "not the rich".  It's a bleak, depressing future we're being presented with, one where a life in chains of debt is somehow better than any other possible alternative.

I don't like this empty future.  I don't want my kids to have a future this dark.  I need to figure out what to do to make the world a better place for them.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

No real reason

I don't really have much to say at the moment, save that I notice I have been neglecting this, and perhaps should consider writing here again.  It might do me some good to express myself every now and then.  Feeling very tired lately, and unmotivated - but that does seem to be a recurring theme in my life.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Startup Weekend

It's been a long time since I've posted anything here, almost a year and a half.  I'm not going to go into why right now, but instead I want to talk about this past weekend, which was really cool.  I participated in a "Startup Weekend" event.  The basic idea was to pitch ideas, form teams, and create a functional business - all in one weekend.  Sounds insane?  It is.

And a hell of a lot of fun.

So here are some of my thoughts on the experience.

Day 1:

Arrived at about 5:30 with a friend in tow.  Lots of pizza there, and lots of pizza.  Saw a couple familiar faces.  Mixed and mingled, heard a good speaker, and about 20 people pitched ideas, including me.  (An idea I had over a year ago.)  My idea was similar enough to 2 other ideas that we merged teams.  Then people voted for ideas, with the idea that the team with the most votes would stand up and pitch again, and people would join that team.  Ours went first and wound up with about 14 people, a lot for an event like this.  A couple other ideas I really liked, but I stayed with mine.

We all then split into our groups and began working on the projects, staying until midnight.

Day 2:

Arrive at 8:30, the doors open at 9.  Go in, have breakfast, get to work.  There are updates given, but each team is working like crazy.  A few people vanish from our team.  I am the only back end dev, and I am scrambling with server problems, and DNS isn't helping.  Finally I give up on Rails 3 ever working on my server and restart with Rails 2.  Shortly before midnight I get FB Login working, returning some values.

Early in the day we settled on a name - Likedity - and got the domain name.

Day 3:

Arrive at 10 and work.  The team is down to 6.  A speaker at one point, an update somewhere in the day, final pitches at 5:30.  I'm working to get the front end design pulled in.  It takes a while, but I finally realize that FB isn't sending me location information in any way.  I give up and quickly set up GeoIP with Maxmind, which is a snap.  A very short while later I get event information from Eventful working, using the GeoIP.  This is at about 4.  The business people in the team are working to get a presentation put together.  We wrap up at 5:30, and pitches are actually at 6.  We go second.

We didn't win the overall contest to go on to the next round, but there's quite a bit of interest in the app, and encouragement to keep moving.  The top 2 apps - and statssquared - really, honestly, kick ass.  Statssquared wins, and deservedly so.  They have something really cool.

Below is a list of the final companies that came out of this, roughly in the same order as the final pitches, although I am a bit fuzzy on the middle ones.
  1. Scigle
  2. Likedity
  4. Gnomaddesk
  5. Notesee
  6. Waitmate
  7. Statssquared
Go check them all out.